Sports Carnival for at-risk kids

Anbum AaTharavum (AAa), Tamil for “Love and Support” is a volunteer organisation that runs Enrichment and Sports activities for at-risk schoolchildren in South Johor.  

The team from SMK Bandar Seri Alam celebrates their
triumph in the football competition
AAa held its Sports Carnival dubbed AAa Piala Merdeka 2015, at SMK Bandar Seri Alam last Saturday.  The event involved some 350 children and a total of 24 teams along with their teacher-mentors, volunteers and supporters.

Students from the five participating schools were host school, SMK Bandar Seri Alam, SMK Dato’ Usman Awang, SMK Taman Sutera, SMK Pasir Gudang 1 and SMK Kota Masai 2.  In Netball, SMK Dato’ Usman Awang won top honours in both Under-15 and Under-18 divisions while hosts SMK Bandar Seri Alam swept both challenge trophies in Football.

Since 2013, AAa has been running unique holistic programmes in education enrichment and sports activities with the help of volunteers.  The programme concept was conceived by former Accountant and Project Manager, Suseela Arulanantham, with the aim to help at-risk schoolchildren discover and develop their potential.  

Volunteer, Elan Ko [Left] presenting the challenge trophy to
the winning Netball team from SMK Dato Usman Awang
Training sessions are conducted in participating schools on Saturdays by professionals who draw on their own training, expertise and exposure to deliver relevant lessons.  The Enrichment sessions cover Leadership Skills, Goal-Setting, Teamwork, Money Management, Environmental Awareness and Sustainability & Landscaping.

In the area of personal development, the topics include Grooming & Hygiene, Healthy Relationships, Sex Education, Communication Skills, Choral Speaking, Poise & Confidence, Miming, Breathing Techniques, Anger Management, Social Challenges: The Dangers of Drug Abuse and Alcoholism; Compassion, Empathy & Social Responsibility – outreach to the homeless, cleaning of temples and other houses of worship.

A weekly English Reading Programme is also run in all 18 participating Tamil Primary Schools in Johor Bahru, Kulai and Pasir Gudang.

Volunteer, Suseela Arulanantham [Right] speaking to
Pasir Gudang District Education Officer, Tuan Haji
Jasni Omar [2nd from Left]
“AAa is structured, results-oriented and in line with the Education Blueprint,” said Pasir Gudang District Education Officer, Tuan Haji Jasni Omar, who officiated the AAa Piala Merdeka 2015 event and praised the programme for what it has achieved.  He also said his department would collaborate with and assist AAa in running its programmes in Pasir Gudang.

AAa is currently funded and supported by several temple organisations namely, Arulmigu Rajamariamman Devasthanam, JB; Sri Subramaniar Kovil Paribalana Saba, Masai; Sri Subramaniar Temple, Tampoi; Sri Subramanian Temple, Kolam Air; and Arulmigu Senthil  Murugan Thirukovil, Taman Perling, as well as Parent-Teacher Associations of participating schools and well-wishers.

AAa invites volunteer input for its Enrichment programmes as well as funding for its long-term mission.  Email:

A version of this was published in The Malaysian Insider on 14 July 2015

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